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Steve Mnuchin’s on this guy’s sh*t list

Horse manure gifted to Treasury Secretary

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former Hollywood producer and

Goldman Sachs banker, and his former actress wife Louise Linton apparently adore Donald Trump’s greedy aspirational “Apprentice” theme—“money, money, money.” It was enough to drive Los Angeles County psychologist Robert Strong to protest with a smelly Christmas present: a nicely wrapped box of horseshit.

An exemplar of the richest 1%, the Mnuchin’s posed  with a sheet of $1 bills at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C. in mid-November in a photo the twitter-verse dubbed as villainy personified.

When “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace raised the viral villainy meme with  him in an interview about tax reform, Mnuchin said: “I guess I should take that as a compliment that I look like a villain in a great, successful James Bond movie.”

But for all the snark on Twitter, it was a New York Times fashion reporter who drove the point home. “Actresses of a certain fame are generally pretty canny about their visual messaging,” wrote Vanessa Friedman, especially part-time former actress Linton who got into a social media war last August over an Instagram photo she posted, stepping off a taxpayer-funded government plane bragging about her designer dresses.

With her “long leather dominatrix gloves, a long leather skirt, wide black belt, black blouse and black stilettos,” Linton is either “the most tone-deaf image maker in the administration or its most Machiavellian,” the fashion reporter wrote.

Black leather, after all, said Friedman, “is the de facto outfit of villains everywhere, from generic Nazis with their black leather trench coats to Hermann Goering’s black leather boots, The Terminator (Version 1), Darth Vader and assorted Disney witches. Indeed, Disney has a propensity for using leather on its baddies, which should suggest the extent to which the material has become a popular signifier of low character.”

But that ostentatious “greed is good”  display was not the last straw for Los Angeles County psychologist Robert Strong: it was the recently passed tax bill. As a sign of political protest, Strong collected a batch of horse manure and left it as a festively-wrapped Christmas package outside Mnuchin’s Bel-Air home.

 

Strong also posted a number of photos of his “Secret Santa project” on Facebook and Twitter documenting what he called his frat-boy style “prank.”

One photo showed an envelope addressed “To Stevie.” Another photo showed a note saying “Merry Catsmess!” addressed to Mrs. Mnuchin & Trump.” It reads: “We’re returning the ‘gift’ of the Christmas tax bill. It’s bullshit. Warmest Wishes, The American People,” A postscript requests they kiss Trump for him.

Strong posted a YouTube video on Christmas Day calling himself “the prophet of poo.” He reminds people that “the prophets of old often did shocking things to highlight the injustice.” And for him, “that was delivering a gift-wrapped box of [horse manure] to parallel the idiocy of the complete … bill that’s been passed.”

“The thing I live by is a rule of transparency and I was exercising my First Amendment rights,” Strong told AL.com, the Alabama outlet first to discover his identity. “A few years ago when [a Supreme Court ruling] said that corporations are persons and money equals free speech, that is so absurd and my rule of thumb is now that if corporations are free speech, then so is horses***t.”

The Secret Service acknowledged they have investigated the incident but have not made an arrest. “The United States Secret Service takes all threats, both alleged and confirmed, seriously,” public affairs specialist Cody Starken wrote in an email to the LA Times.  “As a matter of practice we do not comment on our protective intelligence, possible criminal investigations, and interviewing practices.”

Strong told AL.com that he intended to inspire others to engage in political activism. “The fact that [Republicans] can be so brazen and act with such impunity tells me that we have to be more brazen with our activism and maybe a bit more aggressive,” he said.

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Vermont

Out Vermont state senator wins Democratic primary in U.S. House race

Tuesday’s victory makes her likely to become the first woman and openly LGBTQ+ person to represent the heavily Democratic state in Congress

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Screenshot via Becca Balint for Congress

MONTPELIER – The Green Mountain State’s state Senate president pro tempore has won the Democratic nomination for the state’s at-large congressional seat, the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Becca Balin is running to succeed U.S. Rep. Peter Welch and Tuesday’s victory makes her likely to become the first woman and openly LGBTQ+ person to represent the heavily Democratic state in Congress if elected in November. Vermont is the only state that has never had a female member of its congressional delegation.

The VTDigger, a statewide news website, reported; “Balint, 53, is the first openly gay woman elected to the Vermont Senate and the first woman to serve as its president. The former middle school teacher and stay-at-home mother won her first political contest in a race for her southeastern Vermont Senate seat in 2014

She rose quickly through the ranks of the Democrat-controlled chamber, becoming majority leader in 2017, at the start of her second term. Four years later, in 2021, she was elected pro tem — the top position in the Senate.”

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District of Columbia

Gay couple assaulted in D.C. by teens shouting ‘monkeypox faggots’

The men were treated and released at Howard University Hospital for head and facial bruises, with one receiving stitches for a deep cut

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Photo credit: Washington Metropolitan Police Dept/Facebook

WASHINGTON – Two young men appearing in their late teens shouted the words “monkeypox faggots” at a gay male couple walking along 7th Street, N.W. in the city’s Shaw neighborhood on Sunday, Aug. 7, before punching the two men in the face and head in an incident that D.C. police have called a suspected hate crime.

The gay men were treated and released at Howard University Hospital for head and facial bruises, with one of the two receiving stitches for a deep cut on his upper lip, according to one of the victims who spoke to the Washington Blade.

The victim, an Alexandria resident who asked that he and his partner, a D.C. resident, not be identified by name, said the attackers were part of a group of four or five young men appearing to be between 17 and 19 years old and two young women accompanying them. He said the group crossed paths with the gay couple around 5:40 p.m. in front of a store on the 1700 block of 7th Street, N.W., as the couple was walking to a nearby bus stop on Rhode Island Avenue.

The victim who spoke to the Blade said a nearby witness called D.C. police, who arrived within a few minutes as the two attackers and the other young men with them fled the scene. He said although an ambulance arrived on the scene, one of the police officers drove the couple to nearby Howard University Hospital, where they spent about six hours in the emergency room.

The couple had spent part of that 90+ degree day at the city’s Banneker Pool and later stopped at the Kiki gay bar on U Street, N.W. before taking what the victim who spoke to the Blade said was a leisurely walk from Kiki via 7th Street on their way to the bus stop, where they planned to take the bus to his boyfriend’s Northeast D.C. house.

As the couple walked south on 7th Street about a block from their destination on Rhode Island Avenue they crossed paths with the group of teenagers in front of a store that a D.C. police report says was at 1731 7th St., N.W.

“They were about 17 to 19 years old,” the victim who spoke to the Blade said. “And one of them started saying stuff like, hey, look at these monkeypox faggots and some not so nice stuff like that,” he said.

Two persons of interest considered possible suspects in the Sunday, Aug. 7 assault of a gay couple on the 1700 block of 7th Street, N.W. Police ask anyone who recognizes one or both individuals to contact police at 202-727-9099.
(Image courtesy of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department)

“We turned around to walk away and one of them came up behind me and got my attention and then sucker punched me and then hit me again and then hit my boyfriend in the face,” the victim said. “And another person hit him in the face as well,” he said. “And then someone across the street called the cops. And then the cops came, and they scattered off.”

To the couple’s surprise, the two young women remained on the scene and apologized for the actions by the guys they were with.

“So, I said something like thanks for the apology, but this is the kind of people you hang out with,” the victim recounted. “And one of them said their dad was gay, and they kind of walked away before the cops got there,” he said. “It was nice of them to apologize I guess for the other people.”

The D.C. police report lists the incident as having two offenses, a simple assault against the two men and a misdemeanor destruction of property related to the destruction of a pair of sunglasses worn by one of the two men that were damaged in the assault against him.

The report also lists the incident as a suspected “Sexual orientation – Anti-Gay” hate crime.

As in all incidents of violent crime, D.C. police call on members of the public to contact the police with information about an incident like this to call police at 202-727-9099 or text a tip to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411.

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Federal Government

Biden administration ends ‘Remain In Mexico’ policy for asylum seekers

DHS had held off lifting the MPP protocols until after the Supreme Court’s ruling and then until the U.S. District Judge lifted his injunction

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Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas meeting with Honduran Security Minister Sabillon, July 27, 2022 (Photo Credit: U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security)

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) colloquially referred to as the ‘Remain-in-Mexico’ policy for asylum seekers at the nation’s Southern border has ended.

In a statement issued yesterday, DHS noted;

“We welcome the U.S. District Court’s decision, which follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 30th decision, to lift the injunction that required DHS to reimplement the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in good faith.

DHS is committed to ending the court-ordered implementation of MPP in a quick, and orderly, manner. Individuals are no longer being newly enrolled into MPP, and individuals currently in MPP in Mexico will be disenrolled when they return for their next scheduled court date.  Individuals disenrolled from MPP will continue their removal proceedings in the United States.”

DHS officials had held off lifting the MPP protocols until after the Supreme Court’s ruling and then additionally until U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee in Amarillo, Texas, had lifted his injunction. 

“MPP has endemic flaws, imposes unjustifiable human costs, and pulls resources and personnel away from other priority efforts to secure our border,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said as DHS removed the MPP policy.

The DHS statement also noted that the Department will provide additional information in the coming days. “MPP enrollees should follow the directions on their court documents and tear sheets to appear for their scheduled court date as required.”

DHS continues to enforce our nation’s immigration and public health laws, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Title 42 public health order as required by court order. Individuals encountered at the Southwest Border who cannot establish a legal basis to remain in the United States will be removed or expelled, the statement added.

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